Slave Finial: Cross the Waters to be Born Free - Woodswether Bridge


Location: Woodsweather Bridge

Artist: Ed Hogan

Artist Background:
Ed Hogan is an instructor at the University of Missouri- Kansas City, and resident of Kansas City, Kansas. He has extensively researched the slave migration movements of the mid-1800’s, and their role in the settlement of the original Missouri Town of Kansas, and their interaction with the Huron Native American tribe in Wyandotte County, Kansas.

Project Summary:
Slaves living and working in Missouri in the 19th Century longed and prayed their children would be born free. They would escape their masters and crossover the river Jordan (Kansas river) to the promised land to obtain freedom for themselves and their children. When a child was born in the state of Kansas, the father would bath the child in the waters of a Kansas lake and raise the new born to the heavens as a symbol of being born free. Big Eleven Lake was the principle lake for the freedom ritual in Kansas City, Kansas. The finial will be constructed from flat steel plates. The design will be cut via the “plasma” method. The components will be welded and painted.